After months of training, enough determination to outweigh our doubts and the constant reassurance that everything would be totally fine, Sunday 22nd June had finally arrived! It was time for Team EOTO to join a whopping 12,000 other runners for the first ever Run Hackney half marathon.
As the sun pelted down on the streets of East London, people flocked in their thousands to Homerton Road’s Race Village, all geared up and ready to be unleashed upon the 13 mile challenge through the heated Hackney streets. From the get go the borough was lined with support and encouragement from the Hackney residents who were present throughout, boosting our paces with offerings of water, lots of cheers and energy fuelling high-fives. The atmosphere was fantastic and a rich taste of excitement rippled through the air.
Half way through you got the fainters carried away to the awaiting ambulances, while dozens of other runners started to drop out due to sheer heat and exhaustion. If there is one thing learnt during this event, it’s that it requires just as much mental strength as it does physical!
“There was such a buzz around Hackney for the half marathon, the streets were lined from start to finish. I took the tactical approach of staying close to a gentleman dressed as a ginger bread man because he was getting the loudest cheers and they spurred me on to keep running. As the miles dragged on my legs got heavier and I was extremely proud to finish at all and even happier to achieve such a good time. I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to all the people that came down, supported and donated money towards Each One Teach One. Lastly I want to register my appreciation to the person who was handing out jelly babies halfway through the race….THEY SAVED MY LIFE! ” – Declan Slattery
Pacing the miles the team of 5 EOTO runners were still standing strong and managing to keep up a good pace, pushing the distance to the back of our minds and remembering the reasons behind our strain to get to the finish line.
Finally the end was in sight and although exhausted, we persevered and pushed through the gruelling last couple of miles until one by one we all managed to cross the finishing line and proudly received our medals for all our efforts.
It was an amazing experience and so great to be part of the first ever Run Hackney, not to mention the funds we all helped raise for Each One Teach One. So on that note, we’d like to say a massive thank you to all of our sponsors and those that supported us throughout… WE DID IT!!
We began our Run Hackney journey with a team of 8 EOTO runners, but on race day we stood as 5. Together we raised £1,121 and every penny donated helps to continue our on going support to young people across the boroughs of East London. You can still donate to our JustGiving page here: http://www.justgiving.com/teams/TeamEOTORunHackney
To find out about the work that EOTO deliver please visit: http://eoto.org.uk/
– Thank you!
Written by Demi Leigh McGrane